Ukraine Rebels Ignore Deadline, Stage New Attack

Turchinov's threat of military action looms
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2014 7:31 AM CDT
Ukraine Rebels Ignore Deadline, Stage New Attack
Pro-Russia supporters block police near the City Council during a pro Russian rally in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014.   (AP Photo/ Olga Ivashchenko)

Ukraine's interim president gave pro-Russia militants occupying government buildings in Slaviansk and other eastern Ukraine areas until this morning to get out, or be forced out by the Ukrainian military—and the deadline has passed without the militants leaving. So far, Oleksandr Turchinov has not sent in the army, but clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia gunmen on the outskirts of the city left at least one Ukrainian dead yesterday, the BBC reports. Today, at least 100 pro-Russia separatists attacked a police station in another eastern Ukraine city, Reuters reports.

At yesterday's emergency UN Security Council meeting, Russia's ambassador urged the Ukrainian government to "start a genuine dialogue" with protesters in eastern Ukraine rather than using force, while Ukraine's ambassador accused Russia of being behind the "separatist operation" in the first place. If Kiev follows through on its threat to bring in the military, Russia, which has 40,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border, could push back; the US has compared the events in eastern Ukraine to the ones that led up to Russia's annexation of Crimea. But the Wall Street Journal reports that Turchinov also said today he's open to holding a referendum on the possibility of giving certain regions more autonomy, which is one of the rebels' demands. (More Oleksandr Turchinov stories.)

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